Ridesharing companies such as Uber or Lyft have become just as popular as taxis in most states. Consumers can easily use their apps to call for a ride. They’re usually cheaper than taxis, but accidents make people wonder about the fault. Injured policyholders have extra protections under the New Jersey statute 39:5H-10(j). Are passengers or drivers responsible after an accident?
Responsibility With Riders
Most rideshare companies have coverage for the personal injury of a passenger. Many states require rideshare companies to have a certain amount of commercial liability insurance to cover accidents. New Jersey doesn’t allow people with PIP coverage to sue the driver at fault unless they suffer a permanent injury such as disfigurement. Employees are liable for their employees’ accidents, but many rideshare companies don’t consider drivers as employees.
A driver using another car or hitting a pedestrian can complicate the situation. Rideshare companies only cover personal injury under their insurance if the driver is on the clock. Rideshare companies make traveling easier but create complex insurance issues. There are two common insurance coverage scenarios for rideshare drivers in New Jersey. The company’s insurance covers drivers on the clock, but when the ridesharing app is off, the driver isn’t working. A driver is working when they’re en route to a passenger. Usually, the company’s insurance covers rider-less drivers between passengers.
When a rideshare company doesn’t cover a driver’s accident, it’s like any other car crash. The driver should gather as much information as possible after the accident to support their claim. When a rideshare driver is liable in an accident off the clock, their personal insurance covers them. Rideshare companies usually don’t cover a driver using their private car or driving with their app off. Injuries during rideshare aren’t common, but passengers and drivers should understand the scenarios that may surround the accident.